Adorned Brood: Noor

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Adorned Brood: Noor
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Adorned Brood: Noor
Folk Metal
Black Bards Entertainment
November 21st, 2008
Release length: 44:58
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Adorned Brood is a German Folk Metal band that has seen a decent amount of success over the years since their debut album, Hilitia, hit shelves back in 1996. Up to the album Noor, the group had issued five full-lengths total, six including this follow-up release to Heldentat. Of course, not all of the group’s material was met with a warm reception, as some releases found dismal reviews from plenty of fans and tabloids. Noor is an album that has plenty of potential for this German act, but for the most part falls short, and can often become repetitive and redundant, unlike some of the group’s earlier material.

Though not much has genuinely changed over the years, Noor is not one of the band’s strongest albums. The performances on many of the tracks have a great deal of energy behind them, pushing the songs along nicely and causing many to stand out well in the Folk Metal field. One of the stronger aspects of the album comes in the vocals, which have a nice range, traditionally being a high pitched rhasp or wail, that can reach pretty high levels and sound nice against the music due to it’s sharp sound. Of course, this style is mostly present in the moments of the tracks that feel more like straight forward Melodic Death Metal then Folk. In plenty of songs, like the title track “Noor” and “Sons of the Damned”, the music will suddenly shift from this Melodic Death sound, to a more conventional Folk sound, utilizing a flute, as well as clean singing and a more Folk oriented musical progression, typically found in the guitars. Again, we look at “Noor”, which starts off more Melodic Death, but eventually drops into a lighter Folk Metal sound with clean singing, a much stronger flute performance, and a galloping musical approach to the song.

Luckily, this doesn’t represent all the songs, as there are still some tracks here that focus more on a Folk sound then sounding as if you are listening to some Melodic Death Metal release. “Adorned Brood” is a spectacular track that brings in a more traditional heavier Folk sound, utilizing the higher pitched wails when necessary, mostly during faster moments, but the slightly slower sections have a highly addicting chorus that drops the flute, as well as some of the Folk sounds from the heavier aspects, but still retains just enough for it to stay within the field of the band’s chosen approach. Of course, such musical changes through the album, as abrupt as they often are, really doesn’t aid the album, leaving Adorned Brood sounding like a band that has a solid idea musically, but felt like tacking on the Folk atmosphere to join in with the rest of the bands out there in this field to try to cash in on the success it is seeing.

While some of these tracks seem like they do a bit too much all at once, there’s some tracks that just feel amateurish and like filler, or just have things to them that sound laughable. “Schiff der Toten” isn’t necessarily a bad song, but the slower aspects of the song wind up having less music to them, especially at the start, and have some clean vocals that sound more like spoken word or tone deaf performances, following by a chugging Folk approach with the higher pitched vocals that sound ok, but the music is a little hollow, before transitioning a bit poorly into a rough harmonized singing style that has some keyboards setting a Folk atmosphere. The song constantly changes and, ultimately, just becomes very irritating. Another odd part of the album comes for the “Intro” track, which has some laughable effects utilized. The screaming heard in the background, the male screaming that stands out horribly, is something that appears on countless old Nintendo and Super Nintendo entertainment consoles, and perhaps even further along down the line. They happen twice, and are both laughably bad each time you hear them.

Outside that, the music isn’t all that impressive through the release. As a casual spin here and there, sure, it’s kind of enjoyable. However, if you sit down and want to pay close attention, the vocals are a little lackluster, by both the male and female vocalists, and the music isn’t anything all too impressive or strong, though there are some tracks earlier on in the recording that have some good power and energy behin them. The latter tracks, however, seem to find the band trying to make up for the serious lack of Folk Metal in those starting tracks. Even the band’s version of “Drunken Sailor” is enjoyable, but ultimately sounds very out of place on the Noor, though very fun and enjoyable. In the end, Adorned Brood‘s sixth offering could have been far better then what was presented here, focusing more on their Folk sound and composing music with bite to it, as well as putting emphasis on some nice transitions instead of jumping abruptly into forced segments of Folk. Sadly, Noor is an album that shows some talent and promise, but just winds up being something you could pass by, and you truly aren’t missing much.

01. Intro – 2:39
02. Storm – 5:39
03. Am Grunde Des Meeres – 3:53
04. Sons of the Damned – 5:24
05. Noor – 5:42
06. Adorned Brood – 4:24
07. Schiff Der Totan – 5:26
08. Trollmelody – 3:55
09. Under Yggdrasil – 5:26
10. Drunken Sailor – 2:30
Overall Score: 4/10


Digital review copy of this release provided by Black Bards Entertainment via Earsplit PR.